Sister, Brother and I just had a round robin telephone conference and have agreed to place Mum in a home. The community nurse contacted us with an offer of a high care bed in a facility about 20 minutes drive from Our Hometown, and actually in the town where most of my mother’s sisters live.
It isn’t the home that would be our first choice, but when old people refuse to make timely decisions they also lose the right to choice. Mum always said that she would “know when it is time to move”, but of course, as we knew, no one ever does recognise the moment.
She is fairly clear for the first part of the day, but as the day goes on she starts to sundown and is quite unsettled at night. We have been open with her that she needs to go into care, and at times she seems to understand, but at other times she asks my sister to take her home. She has even had a weep, and this is a woman whom I have only ever witnessed crying at her father’s funeral, and to be a little teary when my Dad died, so I understand the depth of her grief at losing her freedom and her mind.
We are all a little apprehensive, as we lived through our Dad suffering from dementia, though his was caused by multi-infarct dementia and he became quite aggressive at times. Mum’s is taking a different course, though we know the end will be the same. It is making us all fearful for what be ahead for us as we age too.
Life really is a shit, and then you die, but more importantly take control of your destiny in a timely manner. Be prepared. Don’t break your family’s heart making decisions that you should have made.